May. 26th, 2012

kitanzi: (earth is weird - by boogiejack)
Something happened at work yesterday that's apparently gotten under my skin like a splinter, and won't stop bugging me.

We have a relatively new supervisor, which is to say she stepped up to the job when our previous supervisor got sick a few months back, and very recently got confirmed as the actual, really truly permanently supervisor (with a raise, one hopes.) She's justifiably very pleased with this, and apparently her supervisor told her he expected great things from her and gave her a book which he said had been very important to him.

She told us all this during a team meeting, then asked us, if we were willing, to complete a short anonymous questionnaire about her managerial skills. Sure, no hardship and I expected to easily be able to say good things about her, because I think she's an excellent manger.

That was, in fact,true, but... this was divided into five levels, and with the idea that as you become a better manager you get more yes answers at higher levels.

But this thing had an assumption built in that REALLY REALLY bugs me. One of the level five questions asks if the manager is inspiring everyone she manages (paraphrase, don't remember precisely) to become a leader. I guess that's pretty innocuous on the face of it, but not everyone wants to be a leader. (Indeed, if everyone did, who the hell would be left for them to manage?) But not everyone wants that, is suited to that, or should be pushed towards it. And the flip side - I would say the better manager is the one who recognized that in someone and helped develop other strengths instead. The assumption built in here seems insulting to the individual (you're not doing your best unless you're trying to be a leader) and to the manager (you're not a good manager unless everyone you manage wants to be a leader.)

I've run into this before. I actually had a manager who told me, in my job review, that my biggest failing in my job was that I was not ambitious. I had already given notice on that job and I really wish now I'd told him exactly what I thought of that. (On the other hand, if that's the worst criticism my manager can make, I guess I'm doing okay.)

This is apparently just one more thing to go on the list of things I don't want that make people say "But what's WRONG with you?"

December 2013

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